Coleman Humphrey and Hayden Gunter both grew up in Auburn, Alabama, but since the two went to different schools, they only knew of each other. But fate brought them together when both Coleman and Hayden decided to attend the University of Alabama for college. "It doesn't happen often when you live in Auburn, since that's University of Alabama's rival," the bride explains. "It wasn't until our sophomore year of college, in September of 2011, that we started dating."
And since college brought these two together, it was only fitting that Hayden popped the question the weekend after graduation in May of 2014. "We went to the beach with family to celebrate. One morning, Hayden was very eager to wake up early and go to breakfast and then explore the Seagrove State Park," Coleman says. "When we got to the park, he sat me down by the water and pulled out a ring. He asked me then and there if I wanted to create a future with him, and of course, I said yes!" The pair started planning a hometown wedding in Auburn, Alabama, packed with traditional, Southern appeal. Keep reading to see all of the photos from their June 20, 2015, wedding, as photographed by Brooke Glassford of Colorbox Photographers.
With a timeless, Southern look in mind, Coleman and Hayden worked with Kara Anne Paper to create a white and gold invitation suite with a magnolia leaf motif. "The magnolia was used on our invitations and other paper products, as well as placed decoratively at the ceremony and reception," Coleman says. "It was the symbol of a wedding that honored the timeless traditions of weddings from years past."
The bride worked with designer Heidi Elnora to create the perfect wedding gown. "When I walked into her studio in Birmingham, Alabama, she sat me down and asked everything I wanted in a dress. After she had some ideas about what I was looking for, she started putting different dresses on me," Coleman says. "She has dress designs called 'Build-a-Bride' where you start with a simple gown and add on to it with various trends and accessories. It was the ultimate game of dress up. When we had tried a lot of different options, we knew it was the one because she basically designed it specifically for me."
She left the salon with a customized two-piece gown: Coleman chose a Chantilly lace strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline, which she topped with an Alencon lace off-the-shoulder crop top for coverage during the ceremony. "It was very elegant during the ceremony, but then I could remove the top when I started dancing," she says. "It was a good combination of my traditional but funky style."
The designer took lace and pearls from Coleman's mother's veil and added those heirloom pieces onto a brand new chapel-length veil the bride donned for her ceremony. Her white and cream bouquet was made up of David Austin garden roses, stephanotis, lisianthus, hydrangea, gardenias, and trailing ivy.
Coleman's 10 bridesmaids looked radiant in sleek cream-colored gowns from Joanna August. Each 'maid wore an antique gold locket the bride had gifted them on the morning of the wedding and carried a bouquet of white and green hydrangeas.
Hayden chose a traditional black tuxedo, white pocket square, and black suspenders for the big day.
Coleman and Hayden shared a private first look before heading to Auburn United Methodist Church for their traditional ceremony. The bride's father walked her down the aisle. "We didn't write our own vows, but we had a sermon performed by one of our officiants," the bride says. The couple personalized that portion of their day by choosing special readings and pieces of scripture.
Immediately following the ceremony, the bride and groom ate dinner with their parents privately before meeting their friends and family at the reception. "Our parents left to give us a minute alone and Hayden pulled out a sweet, hand-written note that he had written me describing all of the reasons he thought I would be a great wife and why he had fallen in love with me," the bride says. "The moment was short and sweet, but I thought it was important to have a second to ourselves to remember what the day was all about."
Cocktail hour kicked off with tasty drinks, which included the couple's signature cocktail: The Yellowhammer. "It's the specialty drink of Gallette's, a bar in Tuscaloosa where we went when we were in college," the bride says. Drinks were served up in gold monogrammed cups and served with a customized cocktail napkin, or else placed inside a green and gold koozie with the couple's names and wedding date.
The reception was held beneath a wood and stone pavilion. Round tables were topped with towering arrangements of hydrangeas, lilies, stock, garden roses, daisies, and textured foliage or a low arrangement of peonies, roses, and stock. Additional tables were arranged across the lawn, beneath a canopy of twinkling café lights. While guests dined on a buffet dinner, with selections like a grits station, country ham biscuits, a local artist did a live painting of the reception. "All of the guests enjoyed watching her create the painting," Coleman says. "She painted our close family and friends in the portrait and now we have her lovely work above our mantle at home as a sweet treasure from our special day."
After dinner, the couple cut into their two wedding cakes. The bride's confection was a four-tiered rich butter cake with buttercream icing, and was decorated with fresh flowers. Hayden chose a three-tiered Devil's Food cake with chocolate buttercream icing.
A live band kept the couple's 400 guests on the dance floor throughout the evening. To keep the party going, Coleman and Hayden had their caterers serve hamburger sliders mid-way through the reception.
Coleman and Hayden, who honeymooned in Riviera Maya, Mexico, advise other couple's to try and avoid pre-wedding stress. "Don't let that make you forget why you are even planning a wedding in the first place," the bride says. "Things aren't going to run absolutely perfectly, and that's okay! You will be the only one who notices."
Ceremony Venue: Auburn United Methodist Church
Reception Venue & Catering: Moore's Mill Club
Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Heidi Elnora
Hair & Makeup: Envy Salon
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August
Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A Bank
Engagement Ring: Tom Neville
Wedding Bands: Bromberg's
Flowers: Albright's Florist
Invitations: Kara Anne Paper
Reception Band: Kidd Blue
Cake: Sonshine Cakes
Rentals: The Event Group
Favors: The Overall Company
Videographer: Luke Lindgren
Photographer: Brooke Glassford of Colorbox Photographers